SHINNSTON, W. Va. (Feb. 16, 2015) – Josh Richards captured his 50th-career World of Outlaws Late Model Series win Sunday night at Bubba Raceway Park. The triumph came after a fierce battle midway though the race with fellow Rocket driver Tim McCreadie, but in the closing laps, Richards was able to successfully regain the lead and pull away from the lead pack bringing home the milestone victory in the final night of racing at the Ocala, Fla., track.
Richards’ win capped a successful weekend that began on Friday with a UMP DIRTcar Series late model race at the three-eighths-mile clay track. The 26-year-old driver began the night with a third-place qualifying effort, which lined him up on the pole for Heat Race 3. Richards led all 10 laps uncontested, en route to his heat race win. Richards started the main event in the second position by virtue of the redraw, but fell back to fifth in the initial circuits of the 30-lap event due to getting dirt buildup on his tires during the parade laps. Once the tires got cleaned off, the Valvoline driver consistently made his way though the field to take command of the lead on Lap 20. Just five laps later the leaders caught the tail-end of the field, and Richards went low to pass a lapped car. The lapped car also went low blocking him and allowing Darrel Lanigan to pass him on the outside. When the West Virginia native finally was able to clear the lapped car, he had run out of time to get back in contention for the lead, ultimately finishing second.
Saturday night was another consistent night for the Rocket house car driver as he came home with a podium finish. After drawing the last position to go out for qualifying and times slowing as the night wore on, Richards knew he faced an uphill battle. Qualifying ninth, he started his heat race in the third position. Unable to make up any ground in the 10-lap event, the Valvoline machine crossed the finish line in third. Richards started the 50-lap feature in ninth and methodically made his way up to third by the halfway point of the race. Making it up to as high as the second spot, lapped traffic again foiled Richard’s night in the closing circuits and he brought home a third-place finish.
In the final night of the Bubba Army Winternationals, Richards qualified 17th after fighting a tight racecar. After making a myriad of adjustments on the No. 1 machine, Richards rolled out in the sixth position for Heat Race 2. With his car running more to his liking, the Mark Richards Racing driver finished second in his heat. With the top-two cars from each heat race eligible for the redraw, Richards drew a three. Starting third, he quickly took the lead on Lap 2 where he remained until just past the halfway mark of the 50-lap feature. Richards swapped the lead with Tim McCreadie on Lap 27, but regained command of the race on Lap 35, holding on to the point position until the checkered flag flew. Sunday night’s 50th World of Outlaws Series win marks Richards’ third victory in eight Speedweeks events.
Richards returns to World of Outlaws Late Model Series action at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla., on Feb. 19-21, but the No. 1 Valvoline team plans to run the UMP DIRTcar Series late model races at Volusia on Feb. 16 -18.
Qualifying – 3rd Heat Race –1st Feature Start – 2nd Feature Finish – 2nd
Qualifying – 9th Heat Race –3rd Feature Start –9th Feature Finish –3rd
Qualifying – 17th Heat Race –2nd Feature Start –3rd Feature Finish – 1st
JOSH RICHARDS QUOTE: “We had another great weekend during Speedweeks. This is just Awesome. There was a time I thought I was going to end my career on 49 World of Outlaws Late Model Series wins, so to get 50 really means a lot to me. I’m just happy to be back racing, but it really feels good to be back and winning races. We felt like we had the car to beat on Friday until we got caught behind lapped traffic late in the race, and I tried to make a run for it Saturday too. I’m happy with a second and third place finish, but I’m really glad we left Bubba Raceway Park with a win. I can’t thank my crew enough for all the hard work they’ve done. Speedweeks can be grueling, but they just keep chugging along. Our Valvoline car has been fast this whole trip and I expect it to continue at Volusia Speedway Park this week. ”